Once upon a time there was a wicked magician who became obsessed with a young local girl. She was unimpressed with his tricks and fancies and loved another simple boy, and the wicked magician was furious. He determined if he could not have her love, no-one else would ever have the privilege, and in any case he would have her anyway, locked up, all to himself.
He built a magic house and one day, while she was walking in the woods nearby, he captured her and took her to his lair. In this monstrous, majestic place she was a prisoner kept in comfort but also in despair. For the magician told her she was no prisoner, no indeed, the way was always there for her to just find the right passageways out of the house and to her freedom.
‘I cannot hold you here against your will but you must find your way to freedom,’ he said. “Those are the simple rules of the house and both you and I are bound by them.’ And the evil magician chuckled as he spoke for he knew the magic of the house.
It was a place of ingenious, malefic design. Built to confound and confuse, of the many many walls in the many many rooms, so many were not walls at all but hidden doors. And in those many many rooms were many many doors that were not, in fact, doors at all, but walls. To find the way out she needed to locate the walls that weren’t walls and the doors that weren’t doors, and thereby know the secret architecture of the house to be free.
But every wall that was a door she discovered just led her further in, and the doors that were truly doors also tricked her into becoming more and more entangled in the infernal labyrinth of the house.
Meanwhile the evil magician learned the girl’s beloved was coming to the house to brave the citadel and bring her out. While the magician doubted the boy could find his way in any easier than his special creature could find her way out he was not open to taking chances. So he waited for his approach in the forest and when he was within sight he drew a single arrow to a single magic bow, and shot him quick through the heart, killing him in an instant.
But the evil magician had miscalculated, too proud and conceited in his game. For what he had not reckoned on was the boy would then be a ghost. And ghosts can enter houses through any wall or door. Even more than that, they can see the workings of a magical house with an expert eye. So the boy’s ghost entered the house, found his love and led her out, finally to her freedom.
They say the magician died of a broken heart, but in your narrator’s humble view this would have required a heart in the first place. No, dear reader, I think he just withdrew into his magical citadel in his misery and anger and it swallowed him up instead, a hungry house needing to be satiated.
And he was never seen again.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016